Talk:George Armstrong Custer/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Media section

Did you decide not to have a media section because there is so much out there? Just watched a film last night with two pieces of apparently total fiction in it. Came here to have it confirmed or denied. Got an answer, sort of, but no reference to the film. Student7 (talk) 15:30, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

See Cultural depictions of George Armstrong Custer, which is linked in the See also section of this article. Hal Jespersen (talk) 20:07, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

The Custer Child - Again

Due to a recent illness, I haven't been able to monitor changes to this page as closely as I usually have.

There is are several major problems with the paragraph I removed concerning the allegations about Monaseetah's child.

a) the editor who interpolated the paragraph did so without apparently consulting the extensive and sourced discussion on this page, above.

b) Had s/he he done so, the impossibility of GAC being the father of M's first child would have been apparent.

c) The existence of a second child is unsubstantiated and apocryphal. The details of M's later life are unclear. The fact that Cheyenne oral tradition mentions a GAC-fathered child is treated with proper caution in the section above regarding marriage and family, making this paragraph redundant as well as unreliable.

d) The source provided - Kensey - is from a round table. No academic credentials are provided. This report of the meeting is rife with grammatical errors that no scholarly report would include, and Kensey is clearly unaware of the above-mentioned fact that M was pregnant at the time of the Washita battle. K does not allude to any acknowledgment or tolerance by Libby Custer of a native child fathered by her husband. If the other source does so - it needs to be regarded with extreme caution, since none of the heavyweights involved in Custeriana - Libby herself, Utley, Graham, Michno, Edgerly,Grinnel, Wert, and others cite such a meeting as described nor attribute to Libby such an uncharacteristic and un-Victorian tolerance for adultery.

While it is quite possible that GAC did father a child with M - as noted often above - in the absence of hard evidence this simply cannot be reported as fact in the article. Sensei48 (talk) 06:31, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Custer and Sheridan ???

I think it is a bit much to state "Custer and Sheridan" (in that order) defeated Early, as is done twice in this article. Sheridan was in command, not GAC. Custer served with Sheridan and, if you list Custer, then other divisional commanders under Sheridan also should be listed. This is like stating, "Terry Allen and Dwight Eisenhower" defeated the Germans in Western Europe during World War II.

What is WP policy about listing books written on a person's page as "Recommended reading"? I noticed his My Life On The Plains was listed in the article, but not under Recommended reading. Listing it in Recommended reading might make it more noticeable to readers. Earlier in life I read everything I could get my hands on about Custer, but for some reason I never got around to reading My Life On The Plains until very recently. My feeling on Custer, as a person and military leader, have changed over the years. My biggest hangup is hearing people referring to him as our greatest Indian fighter, a title that I feel belongs to Ranald S. Mackenzie, who also served with Sheridan in the Valley. Thomas R. Fasulo (talk) 15:00, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Please Source Or Start A Blog

I have removed more blatant and unsupported POV statements from the article, as the edit history will show. I have not the time to go back and find out who is responsible, but it appears to be some editor not familiar with Wiki policies on sourcing, WP:OR, or POV statements. Since none of these removed statements are objectively verifiable, may I suggest that the editor(s) in question consider starting a blog to support their POV and refrain from editing such statements into an encyclopedia article that strives for objectivity. Sensei48 (talk) 03:32, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

big horn

This is kind of a weird and morbid question to ask but i read somewhere that Custer's body was found stripped naked and in addition the bullet wounds there was an arrow that had been jammed into his penis. Does anyone know if there is any truth to that?

All of the troopers' bodies were stripped and nearly all mutilated, many in their private parts as well as the more common abdomen slashings and decapitations. The item you mention has been reported in a number of credible sources, including Jeffery Wert's Custer: The Controversial Life of George Armstrong Custer. It was observed by burial party members but not widely reported at the time for obvious reasons. Sensei48 (talk) 02:07, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Marriage Section Misplaced?

Does anyone else think that the section on his marriage should be moved or slightly re-worked? The article has a nice chronological flow, but after a brief, one sentence mention of his marriage to Elizabeth, it launches into another very brief mention of his alleged marriage to a Cheyenne woman. And then in the next section it goes back to his involvement in the Civil War. I think the article could be much improved by fixing this.Vervaine (talk) 18:54, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

I for one would agree and am glad that you've put your finger on an aspect of the article that had bothered me though I couldn't quite articulate how until you did. I hope you'll fix it up a bit...
On a related topic - there is a bit of a grammatical mistake in your recent edit to the text. Here is the text before the edit:
His tenure at the Academy was a rocky one, and he came close to expulsion"
and here is your edit:
His tenure at the Academy was rocky, coming close to expulsion
The problem is the classic dangling participle "coming." By rule, this word and its subsequent phrase modify the closest preceding noun, which here is "Academy" - and you don't mean that the Academy was about to get expelled. Even if it is intended to modify "tenure," though, the sense is wrong. The tenure is not close to expulsion - Custer is. However you want to repair the awkwardness of the original phrasing, it can't be done with the pparticiple "coming" unless there is a noun or pronoun referring to GAC before it. regards, Sensei48 (talk) 19:24, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Heh, ooops! You are quite correct. How about "During his tenure at the academy, he often came close to expulsion..." ? Vervaine (talk) 19:41, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Perfect! Sensei48 (talk) 20:13, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

physical/anatomical details??

Do we know how tall he was? color of eyes? weight? shoe size? uniform size? Hat size? hand size? arm length? do we know any physical ailments he might have had? did he have a low voice? did he play cards? did he gamble? did he play any sports? did he have any hobbies? did have any other aspirations outside of the military? just curious. Storm norm (talk) 06:45, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Edits of 6/10 and 6/19

Some of the edits of Zee99 are valuable and all are well-intended. However -

1) As per the long and difficult history of editing this page, the most specific and significant of these edits belong with Battle of the Little Bighorn. The amount of sourced information there is voluminous, and the biography of GAC - this article - was deemed by the consensus of many of the editors who have worked on it not to be the proper place for such specific considerations of this battle but rather as a general discussion of all of the major battles in which GAC participated. A simple overview of each battle was intended; even at that, LBH here has swelled out of proportion.

2) Zee99's edits are derived largely from a single source whose accuracy has not been vetted. We already have a couple of enthusiastic but amateur and questionable sources cited on the LBH page, and though Vern Smalley may be a WP:RS, I'm going to hazard a guess that his is not a familiar name to the core of amateurs and scholars whose work has gone into the LBH page.

I am not criticizing the edits per se; nearly all of them are solid, clarifying, and factual. They simple need to be gracefully integrated into the existing LBH article with the Smalley sourcing and let the other editors determine the validity of the source.

3)Accuracy is an issue at one critical point - that of time. A careful reading of the LBH article will demonstrate - as will a careful reading of the many sources there - that the exact time of duration of the battle, especially that of GAC's detachment, is still in doubt and highly controversial. Speculation about the timing of the Last Stand segment of the battle remains problematic; some of the native sources identified the time as around 4 pm and asserted that it lasted no more the twenty minutes. Wiki policy, of course, is to present all differing side of a controversy. Sensei48 (talk) 03:23, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

A single source, in this case the as-yet-to-be-vetted Vern Smalley, affirming that GAC was aware of Reno's failure as a fact (vs. a presumed 'myth' - one though that is held by virtually every historian of repute cited on this page) does not constitute definitive evidence, especially when the exact route that GAC took (and for all those of us who have traveled the battlefield, this is critical) has never been definitively established ,even in the wake of the archaeological work of the mid-80s and late 90s. What GAC actually knew/saw/thought cannot be established beyond doubt and controversy. Sensei48 (talk) 03:12, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Further -

Hello Zee99 - In reference to your recent edits to the GAC page. You appear to be new to Wikipedia and may not be aware of the rules and protocols - if you are a veteran, then you must now about WP:CONTROVERSY and WP:RS.

These protocols require two considerations:

a) Neither Smalley nor any other author knows for sure what Custer thought or saw, and as a student of the battle, you must know that the exact route that his detachment took to the Last Stand area has never been definitively established and remains a source of hot dispute. We know from Martini that Custer saw Reno's attack - but his last reported words (again as you know) were the "we've caught them napping" quote - suggesting strongly that this occurred at a point where he saw Reno charge but not where he saw Reno stop, dismount, and form a skirmish line. The point is that it's uncertain - no one knows for sure.

The upshot of this is of course disagreement - controversy. Neither Smalley nor Utley nor Michno nor any single source can prove definitively what happened. In keeping with WP:BALANCE, the article must include all major POV without favoritism. One recent editor wanted to base the entire section and the LBH article on Michno's Lakota Noon, which fine book though it is, pursues the thought that only Native American participant testimony should be relied upon - which would make Smalley's list of 7th Cavalry estimates of Lakota strength moot.

I mention this to illustrate the idea that an article like this must tread a narrow middle path, one that recognizes differing and even contradictory theories without favoring one (as your edit summaries imply) as truth.

b) My earlier edit summary comments about Smalley were not meant to disparage a source that I haven't read - or heard of - but were rather to call for vetting that source. Utley, Michno, Graham, Connell, Ambrose and others cited here are professional historians whose work has been published, widely circulated, and vetted by their peers. I can find no such trail for Smalley - and the Little Buffalo Press that published the book you cite appears possibly to be a mechanism for self-publishing.

So what I've done if you look at the "Show changes" tab on my most recent edit has been to preserve your contributions but to frame them in the context of what other editors have contributed before you. (post-addition of signature) Sensei48 (talk) 03:57, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Undo Bot Archive

Per WP:AATP: "Make sure to establish consensus before setting up MiszaBot or ClueBot III on a talk page other than a user talk page." Consensus was neither sought from nor established by the editors who have worked regularly on this page. In addition, the Miszabot mysteriously retained several of the oldest and least active discussions, much out of the stated time parameter. Let's hold off the archive until several other editors check in. The point of retaining some of the older discussions is to preclude the reiteration of allegations and misinformation that tends to reappear in the cases of controversial topics like this one. Sensei48 (talk) 03:55, 25 June 2009 (UTC)


"Many[who?] criticized Custer's actions during the battle of the Little Bighorn, claiming his actions were impulsive and foolish,[citation needed]" I won't claim to be a big history buff, but for the "who?", I know Sherman, Sheridan, and most Republicans were fairly critical of Custer's actions, some referring to it as him "glory seeking" and such. A former superior officer of his Samuel D. Sturgis also labelled him as "brave" but "selfish" and "tyrancal". (talk) 16:27, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Absolutely so (though remember that Sturgis lost a son at LBH) - the way to get rid of the "citation needed" is to find, quote, and note a source that says so.Sensei48 (talk) 17:01, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Have been doing just that, though I see from your (partial) deletion comment that you don't think much of one of the books I have on Custer by Louise Barnett: Touched by Fire: The Life, Death, and Mythic Afterlife of George Armstrong Custer... to quote you directly, "Barnett's book itself postulates highly contentious POV speculations about LBH".
As a matter of fact, Barnett's book won the 1996 John M. Carroll award of the Little Big Horn Associates for best book on Custer related studies. I find Barnett's book to be well sourced and referenced. Might I ask what it is about her work you find so "POV", and what sources meet with your approval? I ask here assuming good faith, etc. etc. Thanks. Jusdafax (talk) 00:22, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Hi JDX - I should have dropped you a note before truncating your Barnett quote - sorry! First as to that - the part that I removed was Barnett's surmise and not at all factual, highly speculative in fact. It is also a barometer of what I individually didn't like about Barnett's book. The research and references are as you note thorough and professional. But as with this quotation, the conclusions that she draws from the research are idiosyncratic and often quite political. She tries to inflate the public shock over GAC's defeat into an example of a kind of racism, suggesting that the prevalent attitude (for which she does not offer evidence because she can't - public opinion polling was decades in the future) was dismay over the defeat of the golden white warrior by (surprise!) a bunch of miserable dirty savages.
There certainly was an element in intellectual America at the time - the Manifest Destiny crowd - that felt that way, perhaps, but they were no more reliably a barometer of U.S. public sentiment at that time than were the NeoCon hawks of 2003 in ours. Moreover, her treatment of the "mythic afterlife" bends and twists many of the subsequent media portrayals into something of the same, blithely ignoring the fact that the overwhelming majority of filmed portrayals of GAC present him as someone more in sympathy with the Native Americans than he perhaps - perhaps - was.
There's more, but that'll do for now. Note my "I, individually" - definite POV. But I think I'm on good ground on the quotation edit for the reasons above - where I cut it, it's undeniable; in the original, highly disputable. And I'd have no objection to Barnett as a source except where she is propounding a POV, unless as Wiki protocols demand, the other side is presented simultaneously and fairly. It's been a multi-year headache trying to keep this article as near to objective as possible.
But please - I always assume good faith and welcome any removal of those pesky but necessary CN tags. Most of the extended discussions here on the Talk Page involve me and Doktorschley and SimonATL and a few others. We argue but seem to be able to reach compromises. Again, sorry about the rv without notice - one of my other articles is up for a GA review and I've been preoccupied with that. regards, Sensei48 (talk) 01:12, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Ok, fair enough, thanks for your views Sensei. I have four Custer books on hand; Barnett, Connell, Wert and Graham's 1926 (1953 edition) 'The Custer Myth: A Source Book of Custeriana' which has original documents including some of Benteen's letters.
Thanks for the kind words; I have also since added a few sentences on Libbie Custer to the article for balance. Jusdafax (talk) 02:18, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Please keep up the excellent and balanced work JDF - I think your edits so far about Sheridan, Grant, Miles etc are excellent (and sourced I note from Barnett  :) ). Connell, Wert, and Graham (1953) are my own favorite sources, esp. Graham - my single favorite comprehensive book on the topic. regards Sensei48 (talk) 03:56, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks again. Like most of us, I respond favorably to praise. Regarding the first section 'Birth and Family', I've knocked away a CN tag, added a bit of info (and separated the big paragraph into two because of the fairly lengthy nickname material at the start) and have noted the source (Wert, pg.17-18). I approve of the way that this Custer article has refs which note the books and exact pages that the citition is from, and I will emulate that. Tightening these refs will be the key, of course, to a bump in grade. By the way, I have yet to master the coding needed to mention a source once in long form, then thereafter shorten it... any tips as to how to do that would be welcome. Jusdafax (talk) 07:46, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
* Ok, looking carefully at the books on hand, I found what seems to me to be a logical way to remove another of the CN tags in the opening chapter, while hopefully improving the flow and order of the article by making it chronological. Since I see no reference to "Arnold" I've pulled that name in favor of Wert's "Paulus" (Connell has it "Paul".) Of course, I've added the refs with page numbers so you (or anyone concerned) can check my efforts. Jusdafax (talk) 08:32, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
* Forging boldly on: This important sentence (The assessment of Custer's actions during the Indian Wars has undergone substantial reconsideration in modern times.) with its big CN tag has been a GAC article eyesore for too long. The easy way out would be to just delete it, but that would be a loss to the conclusion since the sentence is clearly (to me, anyway) true. To document this big-ticket sentence, I rely on Connell's book with four references. I hope a consensus will agree that this merits the removal of the tag. If so, I am optimistic that further progress can rapidly be made on this important Wikipedia article, and that it can progress to a GA or even A rating with dispatch. I welcome further thoughts and commentary, and thanks for your time and consideration! Jusdafax (talk) 10:51, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
* Another CN tag bites the dust, with consensus approval; the tag was on the book someone else mentioned, The Custer Story in the first chapter under the intro. Since the book was already mentioned by name I added the editor's name in the text, and added the other info in the ref. The only thing I do not have, despite my intentions, is the exact page number. Anyone have a copy of the book? Jusdafax (talk) 21:27, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Battle of Sanhe

Battle of Sanhe seems like last battle of Custer, some messages hidden here Hans yulun lai (talk) 10:27, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Good Article push

Time to begin a push to make this a GA. Thoughts? Jusdafax 13:21, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

I must say I didn't expect silence to the above. I'll start by cleaning up some of the remaining tags. Jusdafax 07:49, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

HI JDF: I suspect that all the people who have worked on this article over the years may be a bit exhausted - there has been a fair number of arguments and compromises along the way. I think that your recent edits have been outstanding and have improved the article significantly. I might, however, wait a bit before proposing GA for this. You'll note that it has been de-listed once and rejected twice, and from my experience with GA articles I think I know why. You have done some admirably sourcing here, but I believe that GA reviewer might well find this dramatically under-sourced. Additionally, some of the editing compromises have created an unwieldy attempt to balance contradictory opinions on LBH, and part of that section I have always disliked, at least in terms of wording, esp. the paragraph that begins "For a time," which asserts as fact statements that cannot possibly be verified certainly, what with the conflicting and contradictory nature of NA accounts vs. the battlefield forensics of the time vs. recent archaeology. My sense is that the article is much better but is only about halfway to GA. regards, Sensei48 (talk) 07:46, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your thoughts and kind words, Sensei48. Fair enough. I'm reading more material on Custer (current book, 'Boots and Saddles' by Mrs. Custer, who has a unique take indeed, also a great sense of humor) and have been fighting my own battles elsewhere against wiki-vandals across the expanses of the project, which is a surprisingly educational process. In a few days I'll try to deal with some of the grey/unsourced areas in this article, discussing as I go so everyone knows my reasoning and so I get good input from those with a stake in the status of the GAC article. Thanks again, and I look forward to talking soon. Jusdafax 07:02, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Update: Have finished Boots and Saddles. A real treat, as is the old old library edition I was fortunate enough to go through, possibly printed while Elizabeth Bacon Custer was still alive. Mrs. Custer was funny and literate. Now I want to read her other books, including her Civil War memories of General Custer that were unpublished during her lifetime. Also I today I pushed through The Battle of the Little Bighorn by Mari Sandoz (published 1966, the year of her death.) The work's overly harsh view of Custer must have been the first in the era of the baby boomers (or one of the first) to take a highly critical view of GAC. And tonight I am skimming 1976, Walter Mason Camp's interviews of the survivors of the Little Bighorn. Fascinating! The views of Winfield Edgerly (who made brigadier general in 1905), for example, stand in sharp contrast to those of Sandoz's.Jusdafax 09:54, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Update 2: One book leads to another and another. Interesting that Custer played such an important role in the Civil War in general and Gettysburg in particular. Am back to Mr. Wert and his fine (if exacting in detail) book, Gettysburg: Day Three with its description of Custer's heroics in protecting the vital right flank of the Union position. Am also finding the picture book Custer's Last (Don Russell) to be of interest - these are the illustrations that shaped later perception of the Last Stand, and mentioned by several authors, notably Connell. Nothing better than seeing the actual reproductions of the art, however. Jusdafax 07:22, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Hi Jus - Great reading list. I read Sandoz when that was published and concur with your assessment - as I did earlier when you mentioned Graham, whose book still remains indispensable. I'm also a fan of Mrs Custer's entertaining if hagiographic books - I have a 1st ed. of Boots and Saddles.I don't know Russell but will look for the book. Regards, Sensei48 (talk) 07:31, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Regrettably, much of my editing time got directed elsewhere since my last post here. However, it appears I may now be able to return to this subject. I have continued to read various books on Custer, but the one I keep returning to is Connell's. I have studied the text repeatedly in the past months. The real question: which way to GA? Jusdafax 05:45, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

incomplete sentence

"At the conclusion of the Appomattox Campaign, Custer was the officer who General Robert E. Lee's Flag of Truce, marking Lee's surrender." is missing a verb. Could someone in the know complete this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sejtam (talkcontribs) 15:39, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Fixed - In fact, though Custer was present, he did not accept the flag of truce (which I assume to be the original writer's intent) and I have changed the sentence accordingly. Good catch in any case, thanks. Jusdafax 22:56, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

New section: 'Theories of Custer's death, and immediate aftermath'

After much consideration, I have started a new section to cover the murky topic of Custer's actual death. It is my view that the existing text was incomplete; I added the thoughts of Evan Connell on the topic. I have included other fixes in with the new section. I am happy to discuss these changes here as need be. I also believe the new section could be added to a bit further. Jusdafax 09:01, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

GAC Family Source

GoogleBooks includes the relevant pages that source the members of GAC's family here: [1]

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Sensei48 (talkcontribs) 18:32, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

video game

What about the video game about him, Custer's Revenge--ILoveSky (talk) 01:32, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

The game is currently discussed where it should properly be - under "Video Games" in Cultural depictions of George Armstrong Custer. Sensei48 (talk) 02:32, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

West Point career?

The article says that he was graduated from West Point a year early, yet at the bottom of his class. This seems strange. Why did he graduate early if he was such a poor student? I know there was a war on, but still. Did his entire class graduate a year early?

The article also says that he came close to expulsion "in each of his four years". Isn't four years the normal duration of a West Point career? --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 10:51, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes. His entire class was graduated early due to the pressing need for more trained officers in the rapidly expanding Army.

Additionally the last sentence of the opening paragraph is misleading. The sentence implies that he was 'called to serve' only because of the war. That is not the case. All graduates of the Academy were commissioned as Army officers and placed into service in the US Army. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:34, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

The article should say that he came close to expulsion "each each of his three years." His class was graduated a year early.

Perhaps it should also be noted that Custer would not have been the goat of his class had his southern classmates not withdrawn. (Hatch, Thom. _Clashes of Cavalry: The Civil War Careers of George Armstrong Custer and JEB Stuart_, Mechanicsburg, 2001: Stackpole Books, ISBN: 0-8117-0356-8)Wuf0170 (talk) 14:55, 18 January 2011 (UTC)


I expanded the section on the Civil War quite a bit and attempted to clean up the rest. I have very little knowledge of the Indian Wars and think that more work is probably needed on that section and a discussion of his controversial legacy. Hal Jespersen 16:50, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

The Indian Wars section still does need some work. In terms of his legacy, I'm not sure how far an encyclopedia article should go there.Intothatdarkness (talk) 15:39, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

The excessive use of substandard American "English" and slang needs to be eliminated. The section on early life is particularly bad, from "taught school" (presumably meaning taught in a school), "graduated as the last of 34 cadets in the Class of June 1861" (presumably meaning graduated at the bottom of his class); "the Class of 1862 was graduated a year early to meet the Army's pressing need for trained officers" (if they were passed out early they weren't trained!); "low class rank would be a ticket to an obscure posting, but Custer had the fortune to graduate just as the Civil War broke out" (but he did get an obscure post!);"pulling pranks" (i.e. playing pranks on fellow cadets?). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:31, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Additionally, in the "Death" section, there is a minor contradiction. First, it is stated that Custer endured a bullet wound "below" the heart, while later in the section it states that he endured a wound "above" the heart. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:22, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

3rd Cavalry Division?

The article says (in commands held section) that he commanded 3rd Cavalry Division, but 3rd Cavalry Division (United States) existed only during the XX centaury.

According to, Custer's CW command history included "commanding 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Shenandoah (September 30, 1864 - January 5, 1865 and January 30 - March 25, 1865) and Army of the Potomac (March 25 - May 22, 1865); and major general, USV (April 15, 1865)."
Hence the discrepancy. The 20th Century 3rd Cavalry was an armored and support division of the US reg Army. Custer's 3rd Division was in the US Cavalry Corps - a corps which I believe only existed in the Civil War and/or shortly thereafter, following which cavalry units were integrated into full army corps with infantry as their core components (I stand to be corrected). The CW Cavalry Corps was a mid-war reorganization (1862, I believe) of the Army of the Shenandoah/Potomac. GAC's command history is here [2]. Sensei48 (talk) 20:42, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
The Army of the Shenandoah link here is somewhat misleading, as the Cavalry Corps originated in the Army of the Potomac and was seconded to the Valley.Intothatdarkness (talk) 19:54, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Most Photographed Person Of Civil War Era

An interesting fact that I heard on the History Channel show "Custers Last Man - I Survived Little Big Horn". They said there were more photographs of Custer than anyone else during the Civil War era, even more than President Lincoln. I'm not sure if this is fact, but it might be an interesting thing to be added to this article. • SbmeirowTalk • 04:00, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Only if it can be verified by something other than the History Channel. Personally I tend to doubt it. Custer's CW images may have been reproduced since then more times than anyone else's, but I don't think he was the most-photographed during the War by any stretch. Of course, if they stretch the Civil War era all the way up to 1876 it might be plausible. Intothatdarkness (talk) 20:06, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Family and ancestry

I am an 8xgreat-grandson of Paulus Kuster and related to G.A.C. I have made a change to the first paragraph of the section headed "Family and ancestry" to accurately reflect G.A.C.'s true lineage as not 3x, but 4xgreat-grandson of Paulus Kuster. Though the Wert reference is correct the author of this paragraph misinterpreted Wert's writing, in which he correctly refers to G.A.C.'s father Emmanuel Henry Custer as being the 3xgreat-grandson of Paulus.

I would also like to remove the following passage, and need advice as to how to justify doing so beyond simply citing the family tree. Though it apparently comes from a published source it is genealogically incorrect, to wit: all of Custer's immigrant ancestors arrived in the colonies, specifically Germantown,PA, near the end of the 17th century. Thus none could be accurately referred to as a "Hessian soldier" even if they had fought on the British side in the Revolution, they would have been tories. But that's a moot point, as all of Custer's immigrant ancestors were long dead before the Revolution began. Only American-born Custers of the Paulus Kuster line were alive in 1776-1777, and it's hard to imagine that they would have somehow connected with Burgoyne in Montreal with Hessian troops who sailed there from Germany in spring of 1776 and been mistaken as one of these mercenaries. This passage taken from a book published in 1909 simply doesn't stand up to known family and Revolutionary history.

A 1909 history of Germans in the US stated that Custer's immigrant ancestor was a Hessian soldier fighting for the British, who was paroled in 1778 after Burgoyne's surrender. The soldier was said to have changed his name to Custer because it was easier for his English neighbors to pronounce and perhaps also to remove the stigma attaching to a Hessian, so offensive then to American sensibilities.[3]

Learned colleagues, please advise as to the best way to proceed in providing adequate basis for the removal of this passage. HistoryETC (talk) 08:19, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm going to remove the above mentioned passage, for the reasons cited above. HistoryETC (talk) 00:08, 22 January 2012 (UTC)


The article is very favourable towards Custer. The popular perception of the man is that he was an incompetent self-promoting buffoon. This is supported by his private character, low grades and West Point, and inflated view of his capabilities. Can someone find of these critics to quote. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Wrong. Your popular perception may be such, but serious historians have a more nuanced understanding of the man, which is why he remains controversial. The article reflects that, Sensei48 (talk) 05:52, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I'd agree with Sensei48. Custer's current "popular perception" is at odds with historical fact. The article takes note of the difficulty of wading through the clouds of myth that surround Custer, both in his favor and, commonly in the last half century, against it. Custer is a topic that most people have opinions on, and those opinions seldom tend towards moderation. Wikipedia does not exist to validate popular views, but to strive towards a neutral point of view. This article is likely to attract heated debate for some time to come, and thanks to the efforts of the editors here, largely meets the standards required of an encyclopedia. Jusdafax 04:00, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

If any of you had actually read up on Custer you'd know he was a racist who helped commit genocide. The wiki article should at least mention that view, one which was held by veterans of the Indian War. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:47, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Ridiculous, ignorant, and wrong. I suggest you read as widely on GAC as most of the editors have here - and not the comic books you apparently have consulted. There are reputable scholars who endorse that view and you're welcome to add from them. But there are also a lot of blowhard POV pushers who don't know the first damn thing about the 19th century, GAC, LBH and so on and who couldn't give an accurate definition of either genocide or racism.Sensei48 (talk) 02:34, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
Sensei48: Your posting lacks a civil demonstration of good faith ( ). Correction is one thing, belittling another. Wordreader (talk) 03:19, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
I would like accept this correction in the spirit in which I believe it is intended, and such intemperance on my part in responding is greatly the exception rather than the rule across the wide range of edits I have made on Wikipedia over the years. I would have removed my comment had I remembered that I had made it, or amended it - which I cannot do now because of an issue regarding this addition by you.
My comment was made in frustration over the scores of hours of work on this article that other editors and I have put in over the years to keep it balanced and prevent it from drifting into one POV or other. If you took the time to look over the archives you'd see that, as well as consistently measured responses to at times extremely provocative attack edits.
What you need to see here is your own failure to append just such a comment to the edit above by 68.7 that provoked my response. Until you do so - and take a good hard look at it again regarding, in your words, "a civil demonstration of good faith," neither I nor any other experienced editor could regard your observation with any seriousness. Sauce for the goose and so on. Sensei48 (talk) 04:48, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
With all due respect, I don't think that it's my responsibility to look through the archived comments in order to find a rationalization for the way you handled your reply. I can see where you posted in frustration for your point of view (haven't we all at one time or another), but the goal is to behave civilly at all times, no matter how hard it is to achieve. Thank you, Wordreader (talk) 00:45, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

I'd have to agree with the crticis. This page has an obvious bias. But, it has been dominated by certain biased editors for years now. Like many dodgy wikipedia pages, this one clearly shows why many people regard this sight with disdain. (talk) 23:21, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Concur. Clearly there are a lot of Custer supporters here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:25, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Academic Links

I have added a link to the Little Big Horn Associates website [3], one of the oldest organizations (established in 1967) devoted to the study of the life and times of George Armstrong Custer. The first Little Big Horn Associates Newsletter was published in January, 1967. Their current membership includes nationally known scholars such as Dr. Paul Hutton and Dr. Robert M. Utley in addition to many other published authors. Their site contains a wealth of additional information and sources for those looking to further their research into George Armstrong Custer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Milomarch (talkcontribs) 05:07, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

As noted, it is a promotional link, which notwithstanding your assertions, you have added to several pages. Reading through WP:EL, there are several arguments against links of that nature, and so far you have (as in the preceding paragraph) relied upon arguments based on entitlement, etc., which do not address any of those points. TEDickey (talk) 09:35, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Membership does not necessarily equate to scholarly. LBHA has varied its focus over the years and isn't necessarily a scholarly research organization. It could also be seen as a POV-pushing organization. Intothatdarkness (talk) 13:47, 3 July 2012 (UTC) Also, the LBHA is more or less a link farm for other information. They don't post anything original that isn't for sale as near as I can tell. I don't see that linking to them adds anything to the article. Intothatdarkness (talk) 14:37, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
The link I put up points to the home page, which contains a number of additional pages with specifically topical information. If you would prefer me to put up a link to each of those specific pages, please let me know and I will do so. That said, after checking several other links on the George Armstrong Custer page, in particular, links to the following: Little Bighorn History Alliance Friends of the Little Bighorn Battlefield For Traditional Scholarship Custer Battlefield Museum

I found them all to be links to a site homepage and the content of these related links differs in no way from the content you seem to object to with the Little Big Horn Associates. I don't understand why you voice objections to one organization, whose primary existence is the study of George Armstrong Custer and his times while expressing no objections to other links which do the exact same thing. This strikes me as biased. Unless you are objecting to the same thing in the sites listed above, it is not right that you single out just one link for your objections, which appear to be arbitrary in nature. Perhaps you can specifically state the reasons why you think the link to the Little Big Horn Associates website is any different from the four links I posted above, and which are also found on the George Armstrong Custer page. The Little Big Horn link I posted contains relevant historical material to the subject at hand and is no different in relevance to the 4 other links listed above. I have seen no violations of Wikipedia's terms regarding the posting of links. Unless there is some personal animosity or bias against this organization, I do not understand why you (at least Tedickey) have consistently singled out this one link against all other similar links listed for deletion. This seems neither fair nor balanced to me. If you insist on refusing to post the link of the Little Big Horn Associates, one of the oldest organizations devoted to the academic study of George Armstrong Custer and his times, then I would ask you to apply the same standards to all the other links that fall into this same category, several of which I have listed above. What applies to one link should apply to them all. I think its important to maintain Wikipedia's policy of balance and fairness and we violate that policy when we single out for deletion one link for alleged shortcomings while turning a blind eye toward all other links that share those very same shortcomings. Whats good for one, should be good for all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Milomarch (talkcontribs) 19:36, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

If you want my honest opinion, I dislike link farm websites period. LBHA contains links to historical information. Not the information itself. The same can be said for the majority of the other sites. But since they are pre-existing, I must assume that consensus was established at some point to have them. And is in French. Another issue for this wiki, I think. You may have better luck if you take the academic scholarship bit out of the LBHA link. Their site isn't any more academic than the others, no matter who may on their membership rolls. Intothatdarkness (talk) 20:01, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I just took out the site. It was a French language promotional site for the author's book. Intothatdarkness (talk) 20:13, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I recall seeing some issue with an editor who was associated with the site, and making a nuisance of himself by promoting it, with the result that his edits were removed. It's been a few years, and would take effort to dig it out of the related topic histories - perhaps someone can point to it. Time spent writing long "it isn't fair" messages would be better spent associating the "scholars" to demonstrably scholarly WP:RS which could be used as references. TEDickey (talk) 21:16, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Either way I think it's still just a link and not an academic link. Although, in fairness, the same could be said for half of the links there. Intothatdarkness (talk) 21:24, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I sort of brokered a compromise about 4 years ago to include in the link list. It was a VERY different site at that time - easy access to both French and English versions and including a large number of videos and articles on the site. The particular editor used the SN of Custerwest, and he was apparently a French academic who was part of a smallish group of academics who were interested in LBH and GAC. The group had a POV agenda - Custer as hero - but there were many NPOV sections of both original articles and excerpts from both primary sources and older books like Graham's and Vestals'. That's why I suggested the subtitle of "site for traditional scholarship" since Custerwest focused on late 19th and early 20th century sources. Custerwest the editor was also involved in some strident edit wars, as Tedickey recalls, and he often reverted sourced material that he deemed inaccurately critical of GAC. Including his link with the subtitle seemed to put an end to overtly disruptive edits from him. The site had some value before, though it was a marginal inclusion at best. I see no reason at all to keep it now. Sensei48 (talk) 22:35, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Trevilian Station

The "Valley and Appomattox" section mentions GAC's involvement in the Battle of Trevilian Station, and said he was "humiliated by having his division trains overrun and his personal baggage captured by the enemy". This is at odds with the article on the battle itself, which says (I'm paraphrasing) "after capturing Hampton’s division train (he) became cut off, and suffered heavy casualties before being relieved", which raises the question whether it was Custer’s train that was over-run or his enemies.
The battle article also highlights that he saved the Brigade's colours, rather than that he lost his personal baggage, and I have to wonder which of the two is the more important.
As this article is about Custer, rather than the battle (which has its own page) the key fact to bring out (to my mind) is whether GAC did well or badly at Trevilian Station; was he commended for his “dash”, or criticized for over-reaching? Xyl 54 (talk) 23:14, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

PS: I also notice there that Wittenberg refers to the action as “Custer’s First Last Stand” and I’m wondering if there is any mileage in that... Xyl 54 (talk) 23:17, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Citations needed & a clarification request

Although sparse in places, there is at least one citation for each section, if not paragraph, except for the "Grant, Belknap and Politics" section, where no citations at all are found. The authors should cite the materials they used in writing that section.

In that same section, first paragraph, I see:

After being "summoned to Washington to testify at Congressional hearings": After testifying on March 29 and April 4, Custer testified before the Banning Committee.

Does this mean that Custer testified before Congress AND the Banning Committee? Or does it mean that Custer testified before Congress' Banning Committee? Since this is the only place in the article where the term "Banning Committee" appears, an explanation is in order. The William W. Belknap article doesn't mention this committee; there is no separate WP article for Belknap's impeachment trial; nor is there a separate article for "Banning Committee". As casual readers, we are left slightly baffled. Thank you, Wordreader (talk) 01:51, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Custer & Causalities

I think too little is made of the huge losses Custer frequently incurred. He effectively destroyed several regiments worth of soldiers during the war and was promoted for it. He and "Kill Cavalry" Kilpatrick acted with disregard for their men. A "leader" uses their men but doesn't abuse them for his personal glory. Custer's action in the Indian Wars brought disrepute upon himself and the US Army with his unnecessary and wasteful campaign. There's a vast difference between heavy losses due to hard combat and vainglorious caprice.

Hesweeney (talk) 19:22, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

missing content in the legacy section

The legacy section seems to concentrate primarily on pros and cons of military decisions and contemporay criticism. There's is little about his perceptionby current historians and academics and nothing at all about his depiction and image in arts, literature and popular culture over the last 120 years.--Kmhkmh (talk) 20:19, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Bullet below or above heart?

The Death section has conflicting information- that of Custer's two bullet wounds in the battle, one was to the temple, and the other was both above and below the heart. (talk) 09:30, 15 December 2014 (UTC)